Moving to Sacramento

Parent Q&A

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  • Did you move from the East Bay/Bay Area to Sacramento? If so, how do you like it? 

    Some background: My husband and I are considering a move to Sacramento before our (currently preschool-age) daughter enters elementary school in the next few years. We are interested in living within the city limits. I read through some of the past posts on this issue, but I was hoping to get some more info from folks. The long and the short of it is cost. After many years in the Bay Area, my husband and I are starting to appreciate that we may never be able to afford a house here. Even with all of the price hikes, Sacramento seems to be substantially cheaper, and we could afford to put a lot more down, making the impact of the terrible interest rates a lot less. And private school seems to be noticeably less than the Bay too if we were to live in a neighborhood that we loved but a school district that we didn't love. 

    Did you make that move? Where did you go and how has it been? Were you able to find a good community that shares your interests? 

    Sacramento is fantastic! It is hot in the summer- this is not an understatement (I grew up in New Orleans). We did the move after 10 years in SF/ East Bay, summer 2021 when I was pregnant, similarly as it was more cost-effective to get more space. We chose Curtis Park, but any of the older neighborhoods around the downtown/ midtown area (Land Park, East Sac) are lovely, and have something (cafe, market, etc) within walking distance. Because of our location, everything we needed for kiddo was within easy walk or drive, never more than 15-minutes on local roads, so we felt it was really manageable and family-friendly- if that’s what you value. At local park, it seemed like “everyone” had moved from the Bay area.  

    My family moved to Sacramento five years ago to be closer to grandparents and extended family and to escape the very high cost of living in the Bay Area. Unfortunately we didn't have a down payment for a house saved when we moved (see: expensive Bay Area cost of living), so we rented our home. While we love a lot of things about Sacramento, with remote work and the ever expanding Bay Area, the cost of living has recently become nearly as bad as it was in the East Bay when we left. And now we are sort of stuck because of the proximity to grandparents and because we don't want to move our kids again. Honestly, if I didn't have extended family in Sacramento and I was leaving the Bay Area now, I'd probably leave California altogether. Sacramento is great, but I feel almost like I'm stuck in the same situation all over again of never having enough to save for retirement or own a house. If you have friends or family elsewhere, I'd go there and start building community in a truly affordable place. I have noticed that some folks who move here from the Bay Area who do NOT have those existing attachments--familial or otherwise--choose to move again a couple of years later.

    Hello Niavara:

       We moved to DAVIS (15 mins from "West" Sacramento) right before the lock down.  We loved living in the Berkeley Hills for 10 years, but husband's age became a factor for his feeling comfortable driving. 

       Davis is a small college town.  And everywhere is free parking.  Plus the Arboreteum. 

      You'll miss the great food of Berkeley-- but Sacramento itself has a super eating places (Davis, not so much).

      For future reference, once you or your partner reaches 55 yrs of age, you can consider  living in "Rancho Yolo"  a retirement community of mobile homes --you buy your home & pay rent: $810 which includes all utilities.    There are 2 swimming pools, a huge club house, live music 1-2 x monthly, tai chi, charades, choral, rehearsals for play performances, book studies,  knitting, etc. 

  • We're considering a move from the East Bay to communities close to Sacramento, specifically Folsom/Granite Bay/Rocklin areas. Our 14 year old is set to start High School in the Fall. Our son is neurodivergent (ADHD) and has some learning difficulties. All of the HS in these areas seem to be highly rated, but wondering if anyone has experience with particular schools in these communities and could share some insight. It will be stressful enough to start HS in a new location, trying to do our best to set him him up as best we can in a supportive environment. Also wondering how these areas compare, in general, to life in the Bay Area. It will be an adjustment for all of us, just wondering how much! TIA for any advice, recommendations or just sharing your family's experience if you've relocated. 

    There is a musical on HBO called Ranked that first Debuted at Granite Bay High School in 2019.It is a highly rated High School.The musical is about how stressed the kids feel about their class ranking.Maybe that is true at lots of High Schools.

  • My family will be moving to Sacramento within the next year. Our daughter is 3 years old and we are looking for recommendations on high quality play-based preschool for her until she can enter Kindergarten. She is currently at KSS Spanish Immersion preschool in Albany and we like it there. 

    I've started researching preschool options in Sacramento and could really use some recommendations. We both work full time so need at least an 8-5 M-F schedule. Spanish Immersion would be great but is not a necessity. We are looking to buy a house in one of the closer-in areas of Sac like Land Park, Curtis Park, or East Sac. So far the options I've turned up are either too far out of the city center or don't offer full-day schedules. Any advice on preschools to check out, or message boards/Facebook groups we could post on would be very helpful!  

    Hi there! We relocated from Berkeley to Sac about a year and a half ago and just got through the process of finding and getting into a daycare. I didn't research many schools that were  preschool-only, but though most of the schools we looked at included both daycare and preschool programs, so I'm happy to share the spots we liked! For reference, we live in Little Pocket (which is basically South Land Park), so very close to Land Park/Curtis Park, and our kiddo is 2.

    First of all: good on you for starting the search now! I assumed getting into daycare in Sac would be way less competitive than the Bay Area, and I was quite stressed when I realized how wrong I was. Put yourself on waitlists anywhere you think you might be interested in so hopefully you'll have plenty of options when the time comes.

    My favorite schools, which did not have openings in time for our needs, were Bergamo Montessori in Pocket and Acorn to Oak in Arden. Acorn to Oak would have been a schlep but we'd have considered it because the school seems so lovely. On the off chance we get off the waitlist at either, we'd seriously consider whether it's worth making a transition.

    My kid currently attends Merryhill in Pocket, which I like fine. It's more "academic" than I care about, but not in a way that feels developmentally inappropriate or at the expense of lots of playing. The teachers and staff are generally lovely, the school is very racially diverse (which was important to our multiracial, queer family), and 2 snacks and lunch are included (hallelujah!). Full-time care is up to 10 hours between 6am-6:30pm, so very flexible for working parents. My kid is excited to go to school every day and has connected well with the teachers and kids. The program takes infants through pre-k, and it seems like lots of families have been there a long time, which gives a vote of confidence about how folks feel about the school.

    My main concern about the school is the very high rate of teacher turnover. We've been there since late August and 5 teachers have left in that time, including both of my son's original classroom teachers. I know low wages and high turnover are a huge problem generally in early childhood education, and it feels too soon to tell if this is just a bad couple months or reflective of a larger problem within the school itself.  But, it certainly can make me look longingly at the incredible retention rates quoted by Bergamo (I can't remember exact numbers anymore but as someone with an ECE background, I was floored when I heard them during the orientation and it made me assume that they do a really good job of compensating and investing in their teachers).

    If you're worried about COVID, our research suggested Shalom School and Peregrine (in Davis) have the best COVID protocols. Peregrine looked amazing but was not a doable commute for us. We seriously considered Shalom, but in the end the longer commute and lack of racial diversity made it less appealing than Merryhill. Merryhill's COVID protocols are largely hygiene theater as far as I'm concerned (and seem pretty typical for Sacramento) but we felt able to tolerate that once our kiddo was vaccinated.

    Feel free to reach out if you'd like to chat more :)

    Hi- We moved to Sac (Curtis Park) from East Bay summer 2021. Our 15-month old attends Mini-Makers daycare (Midtown & accessible from all those neighborhoods) part-time (under 2). We love it and the owner Leslie is lovely; we are considering sending her there full time after she’s 2. Also, we’ve been looking at Camellia Waldorf (a little further away but doable from Land or Curtis Park but might be far for East Sac), which may have a waitlist. 

    We moved to Land Park from Berkeley almost 2 years ago and have been so happy. Our youngest is in her last year at Artenia Beast in East Sac and it's a wonderful school. The teachers are warm, the space is big and clean and foster and nurture inclusivity, they teach about pronouns, personal space, etc. They have 4 different classes based on age groups. They also have full time hours from 8-5:30. I think there's a waitlist but if you won't be moving for bit, I'd suggest reaching out now. It's a great community!

    A friend also sent her kids to Learning Tree, it's closer to Land Park then East Sac but she loves it. The director has been there for decades and they have low teacher turnover. They don't have a website so you should call them and ask for a tour. They accept applications in January and kids start in either June or September. They are also a full time school. 

    Good luck and welcome to Sac!

  • Moving to Sacramento?

    Feb 27, 2022

    My sister is seriously considering a move from Minnesota to the Sacramento area - El Dorado Hills, Roseville, Folsom, etc. She wanted to live near us in the Bay Area but it is just too expensive. Sacramento is comparable in price to Minnesota, and they like that it offers good weather, easy access to Tahoe, lots of outdoor activities, and good schools. Her and her husband work from home so jobs and commutes are not a consideration. 

    They/we would love any input from people who live there or know about the area. Specifically:

    - Diversity - they are middle eastern and non-practicing muslims. Will they be accepted?

    - What is the political climate like? They are left leaning and don't expect it to be the Bay Area, but also don't want to live in Trump country

    - Their kids are in elementary and middle school. Are people/kids welcoming at this age? They worry the kids will have a hard time making friends (in Minnesota everyone hangs out with the kids they went to kindergarten with and it is hard to assimilate at an older age)

    - Are there club level sports for kids? Volleyball, soccer, or hockey specifically

    - Any other insights/feedback they should consider? They want good schools and have the budget to spend up to $2M on a home. 

    Thank you in advance! If anyone is willing to chat live, I know my sister would really appreciate that. 

    They're looking at the most conservative areas of Sacramento! It's definitely Trump country over there. Have her look at the map of election results from 2020 to give her an indication of the political leanings of places they are looking at. They should consider Davis. Great schools, good community, diverse schools (there are 41 different languages spoken at my kid's elementary school). It's a university town, and has the politics to match. There is definitely club soccer, but for hockey, they'd have to drive 20-30 minutes to Vacaville ( Not sure about club volleyball (it's a school sport starting in 7th grade), but there is for baseball, softball, basketball, rowing, and many other sports. The airport is easy to get to. There's a train that goes into the Bay Area. There's an outstanding Farmers Market. It's easy to get to Sacramento. I think that the kids would be fine making friends. In elementary school, I found that the friendships change from year to year as you are exposed to different kids in your classes, and the same goes for middle school. My kids have made friends with new kids each year. I think that your sister would find it to be a very welcoming place!

    This is not a subject I know a lot about, but we do have some friends who live in El Dorado Hills.

    EDH is a suburb.  My impression is that while it is majority White, there are plenty of diverse families in the vicinity as well. Our friend mentioned that his boss is originally from India.

    If I were in your relatives' position, I would investigate the local "Democratic Club", people who live in the "purple" areas of California who vote Democratic and are more progressive.  Other friends of ours who lived in the Auburn area founded their own Democratic Club, thereby meeting a friend group.

    You may have already considered this...but have you thought of Davis? It checks many of the boxes. UC Davis is there so for most of the year there is mega diversity. I believe they would be embraced. Political climate is definitely left leaning. They are sports crazed and I've yet to see a weekend without  multiple sports activities for youth going on around the various fields. The schools are good. Without traffic (if there is such a thing anymore) it's a 25 minute drive to Sac. Small town. Great greenbelt. Little crime. 2m buys a lot of house.

    Having just moved from Sacramento to Berkeley, I thought I'd share some thoughts with you. Granted, these will be gross overgeneralizations based on a sample of one, so please treat them as such. 

    Unless they move to Sacramento proper, they are in Trump country. No way around that. Blue lives matter stickers are par for the course, and that's in its mildest form. PARTICULARLY in Folsom and Roseville. Affluence does not equal progressive views, and as a left-leaning Middle Easterner, I would really not recommend moving there. Sure, they have good schools (I have a toddler, so no direct experience, but my niece and nephew who are multi-racial are in school in Granite Bay), but they are the opposite of diverse. It's not to say the kids wouldn't be welcome, but the schools are overwhelmingly white and wealthy. 

    My only piece of advice if they go down this path is to try to move closer to the actual city. The scene in the city is a lot more diverse, and there are some great neighborhoods (Tahoe Park, Land Park, Midtown) where they might still find a place in their budget. And the weather will be MUCH better than in Minnesota. And there's a great network of public pools where we spent a lot of time.

    We gave Sacramento a year (we lived in Oak Park). I personally didn't find my people and ultimately felt that I had to move. But if they're not happy where they are I think it's worth a try.  

    I work part time in Sacramento and it’s very Trump Country. Lots of “F Joe Biden” flags and stickers, and hardcore anti-mask and anti-vaxxers. Even some people in the immigrant community that I’ve met are right wing. It’s a deal breaker for me. 

    I moved from Oakland to Roseville over a year ago. I have family that live here so I was expecting it to be overly conservative. Actually I have found it to be 50/50, I also looked up a NYT poll and it reflected that as well. I live in a newer development of Roseville and there are many people from the Bay Area and all over. There is racial diversity, though the majority is still very white. The schools are excellent which is why we moved to the suburbs over Sacramento. My children have been welcomed into their schools and made many new friends, my son was in 4th grade when moving and commented that the kids were more friendly, though it did take him a little while to form his own solid group of friends. Also because it is a new development there are always new kids coming into the neighborhood, so new kids don't get to be the newest kid for long.  I found the neighborhood to be much more friendly than while living in Oakland. My kids do gymnastics, but I know there is club sports for golf, soccer and baseball. I don't know about volleyball. There is an ice rink for figure skating and hockey. 

    I work in a satellie office in the Bay Area for a large State agency headquartered in Sacramento.  I have colleagues in Sacto and take work-related trips there every so often, so I'm somewhat familiar with Sacto.

    There is a significant Middle Eastern population in our agency, so I think there's a significant population in Sacto; however, I don't know where they live--probably all over, including the suburbs you mentioned.

    My impression is that Sacto is purple politically.  There are a lot of Trump supporters, even among people of color (I personally know) and middle income people, surprisingly.

    Davis is probably much more liberal politically.  But Davis is significantly more expensive.

    Traffic is quite congested within Sacto.

  • Hey there,

    My family is moving in a couple of weeks and I'd love to know if there is a BPN type network in the greater Sacramento area. We will be living in Rocklin. I haven't found anything through regular google search and thought I should ask here. If there isn't one that you know of, we are looking for child care networks in particular. I know there is always and

    Anyone else moving out that way? We're sad to leave the Bay but still looking forward to the move. Would love to connect with you if you're also moving. 

    I'd love to hear any other recommendations you might have for the area!

    Thanks in advance!


    Hi there!  We moved to Roseville last November and sadly have not found anything like BPN.  If there is one I want to know about it!  Any information I have come across is usually through word of mouth of other parents or doing searches.  You can meet quite a lot of parents at the local playgrounds and the neighbors have been really friendly. You can contact me at claireifeye [at] if you have any questions and I can ask around.  

  • Hoping for recommendations for Sacramento realtors. I’ve been considering a move for several years. I have friends there and have visited often.  I had thought it was a likely retirement destination, but working from home during COVID suggests that I wouldn’t necessarily have to wait to sell my little Oakland house and move. I know from news reports that many others from the Bay Area have realized the same thing, and have made Sacramento a hot market.  Before I make any big decisions, I’d like to spend some time with a knowledgeable realtor who would show me different neighborhoods so I could get a sense of what I might be able to afford.

    We just moved from Berkeley to Sacramento last month— our realtor, Steffan Brown, was amazing from start to finish. Our friends (relocating from Emeryville to Sac) also bought a house through him a few weeks after us and had a great experience too.  He is super knowledgeable about the area (though he particularly focuses on Land Park, Curtis Park, Oak Park, Hollywood Park and Midtown), has great relationships with other folks in the industry, and was able to help us craft a competitive offer— we got the first house we bid on, and our friends got the 2nd house they went for (no small feat in a hot market!). He even has a moving truck that he lets his clients use for free. We can’t recommend him highly enough! 

    • emailsteffan [at]
    • phone
      • (916) 717-7217 mobile

    We just moved to Sacramento and could not be happier with our realtor. She is fantastic. We bought near midtown but she's also very versed in the suburbs, depending on what your preference is. Her name is Tamara Bish and can be reached at tamarabishrealtor [at] Good luck!

    My daughter just bought a house in Sacramento and used Amber Fortier (Lintz)She was wonderful and we trusted her completely.If you google her name you will see many reviews of other people that used her and liked her and see her contact information.Tell her Jenny’s mom recommended her.

    Highly recommend: - Nancy Dyer knows the Sacramento market well. We used her to purchase my Dad's home. Good luck!

    You should talk to Karin Alon ( She's incredibly knowledgeable about the market and the area and can probably answer a lot of your questions just over the phone.  I'm from Sacramento and my family has used her for multiple real estate transactions in the past and everyone was 100% pleased with her service.

    As a former Sacramentan with family still living there, I highly recommend Hyrum Gray (916) 335-5019; hyrum [at] I know him personally and he is a great guy. In the last few years he has helped both my mom and my sister buy homes in different neighborhoods of Sacramento.

  • My husband and I are moving to Elk Grove with our 8-month old this August. We are just another family hoping to get a breather from the high cost of living. We are currently in Piedmont Pines. We have seen a few older threads on this, but would love to get your thoughts/recommendations on the following: 

    • Areas to consider: We are looking at the "Pocket" and also Elk Grove. Safety and good public schools are important. Are there other neighborhoods that you would recommend? 
    • Parents Network: Are there any parent networks (Facebook etc.) that you can recommend? I can't find too many resources online. 
    • Childcare: If anyone can recommend childcare options in Elk Grove, that would be especially helpful! We are hoping to either find a nanny share or a smaller in-home option, but we'd consider anything. 

    Your help is much appreciated! 

    Please share any responses re: parent networks!  We're relocating to the North Notomas area and had considered Elk Grove. North Notomas has decent public schools (not as strong in the High Schools as Elk Grove - but we're only really looking at elementary schools now) and the diversity is a bit better as is accessibility to work/airport/entertainment.  

    Hi - I can't speak for Elk Grove but I grew up in the Pocket.  It's relatively safe (much safer than Berkeley/Oakland areas) but is close to Meadowood so good to be aware of your surroundings.  There also isn't much through traffic which is nice.  It's a planned neighborhood which is great for kids... all areas seem to have a park within walking distance (and flat!).  The Sac river is right there with a great walking/bike path.  Overall, a wonderful place to grow up and I love taking my kids there now.  Schools are just so so.  The most "well-known" would be Diddion ->  It's k-8.  High schools are just OK in Sac so might want to consider private.  Best of luck!   

    We just moved from South Berkeley to the “Little Pocket” neighborhood with our six month old. Our other favorite neighborhoods are Curtis Park and Land Park, we just happen to fall in love with a house in Little Pocket. (We heard great things about Pocket too, but wanted to be a little closer to the grandparents who are in Curtis Park.) We’re still learning about the school district, but all those neighborhoods feel really safe to us. 

    In terms of parent resources, I’ll be really interested to see what people recommend! What I’ve heard from folks locally is that everything is on Facebook (which I am not on and am still hoping not to have to be). Good luck with your move!

  • Hello! I know there are MANY threads on this topic, but I didn't come across any very current.  My husband and I have two early elementary school aged children and are considering a move from Montclair to the Sacramento area.  Like many others, we're primarily motivated by the lower cost of living, more space, and solid K-12 public schools.  We aren't very familiar with the different areas in and around Sacramento, but Folsom keeps coming up as a great place.  I'd love to hear from anyone who has made the move anywhere in Sac.  I am concerned a bit about losing the liberal bubble of the Bay Area, but I'm hopeful there are some areas that tend to trend a bit more liberal than others.  Also, how are the people? And curious what summer schedules are like? I've heard people tend to do everything before 10 am because of the heat, but I can't imagine being housebound for the rest of the day with with the kids! Thanks in advance!

    We moved from Albany to Folsom in 2019 to be less “house poor,” to access comparable education, to enjoy a spacious new home, and because I have an office in Sacramento.  We sold our home just this month and we are headed back to the east bay.  Nothing wrong with Folsom.  Suburban living proved not to be a good fit for us.  It felt lonely and uncomfortably conservative for our tastes.  And the pandemic made for a difficult moment to begin a new life elsewhere.  You must be okay with intense heat and rattlesnakes because there’s no escaping either. It’s very pretty In Folsom though and the schools are good and maybe great.  Most people seem to like it.  Not a great place for diverse folks but their is a close-knit Indian population.  Best wishes.


    My dear friend moved from berkeley to Granite Bay in February with their two elementary school age children. They seem thrilled with the choice. I am happy to introduce you to them for a quick chat if you’d like, let me know!



    Oh boy, where to begin. I've lived 10 years in Berkeley. 10 in Folsom/EDH, and 10 in Sacramento. Parent to school aged children - brother in Folsom/EDH same. Consider giving me a text or call.

    Moderator: contact username at the end of post 

    HI!  I grew up in Sacramento and am familiar with the area - not as much with Folsom.  It is nicknamed "wholesome Folsom" and is very close to Tahoe, DT Sac.  In addition Folsom Lake is great for recreation.  I think it is a little warmer there than say an area closer to the delta (Land Park/Greenhaven Pocket).  It's hot in summer but it's a dry heat  and there aren't a ton of days over 100 (it's not AZ or Palm Desert).  Yes, there were days we did things in the morning due to the heat.  But everywhere will have AC and access to pools, lakes, rivers are very helpful.

    I believe everywhere in CA will have liberals so I don't think you need to worry about that.  Not sure about certain areas.  Growing up in Sacramento, I didn't really look at people's political views but more who they were as people.  

  • My husband and I are seriously considering moving to Sacramento from Berkeley. We love it here but we're just one more family escaping the high cost of living. Can anyone share their experience or knowledge about the area? We have middle and elementary school-aged children. As a multi-cultural family, we would prefer to live in an integrated neighborhood, but safety and good public schools are the most important factors. Any advice you have on neighborhoods (i.e. the safest), schools, the local artist community and realtors - and more - would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Moderator Note: This is a frequent question on BPN and there was a lengthy discussion a few months ago:

    Check out Gold River.The schools are excellent and you will find the community to be a little more liberal than some parts of Sacramento.

  • Hi Everyone,

    After reading a few boards on moving out of the Bay Area due to high cost of living, I decided to reach out to everyone to get thoughts on relocating from Oakland to Sacramento. My husband and I have two daughters. One who is turning 3 soon and a 4 month old. We have been living in Oakland for over a decade and have truly made it our home. We have so many beautiful memories here and absolutely love how accessible we are to everything.  While we have loved it, we have realized now more than ever that we simply cannot afford living here. We currently live in a large 1-bedroom apt by the lake and have stayed here for the mere fact that it’s rent control and to justify renting a two bedroom for less square footage but at a higher cost would be crazy. Now that we have beyond outgrown our 1- bedroom with two kids, we are looking to relocate to the Sacramento area. I was offered a job with a very good salary that could absolutely make our dream of getting a home very attainable. My husband is a teacher for OUSD and will need to get a teaching job out there which doesn’t seem to be an issue but now that this thought/idea of moving out there is becoming more of a reality, it’s freaking me out! We have a few friends out there who have loved living there and I follow a lot of ig Sacramento pages that make sac a cool place at live, which puts my anxieties more at ease but I am incredibly nervous of all the change. The idea of having to create this new life/new community is scary because let’s be honest, making friends in your later 30’s seems like a daunting task. Times I have went out there as well, I’ve done nothing but compare it to the life we have in Oakland which makes me not like the sac scene, but our life in Oakland will never be the one where we can afford a home. So what do we compromise on? It’s all leaning towards relocating.

    It would be great to hear others thoughts on this decision and any similar experiences about relocating (specifically Sacramento) from the Bay due to the high COL. Any recommendations on areas to look for housing would be great too. Job would be in Folsom but we do like the east sac area. 

    Thanks friends!

    I don't have much to say on Sacramento except that friends who've made the move have been happy with the decision, but I will say that we struggle with similar debates, and really regret not making the move when our kids were younger (now 4 and 7). The longer we stay, the more entangled the kids become in friendships and school and activities, and the more daunting it is to leave...and so we're still stuck here. We can't afford to move to most of the other cities we're interested in without jobs in hand, and moving two at once has proven very challenging. You already have that piece of the puzzle solved, so I'd say--go for it, and don't look back!

    Hi there,

    My husband and I are from the Sacramento area ( we both grew up and lived in a few areas in Sacramento). It's a great place to raise a family, but be prepared that is a much more quiet area then Oakland. Over the last few years I've seen a number of new restaurants go into the downtown area, and now that the new arena is there, that should help liven things up a bit. I would say accessibility to the downtown area is key (in Sacramento terms, that means a ~20 min drive) so that you feel connected to that stuff. Finding good food downtown had never been struggle, but because you have to drive just about everywhere, it's got a different feel. 

    Do you know what area of Sacramento you address looking to move to? Happy to give you any tips I can if it would be helpful!

    Maybe try getting an airbnb for a short trip to "try out" the neighborhood?  I knew people who did then when relocated from SF to East Bay and it helped in their decision making.

    Hi,  I think Sacramento has a lot to offer.  I work for a company that helps families find their right town when they are ready to leave SF and I recently expanded to Sacramento (so I could help families find a more affordable place to raise their kids).  I was really surprised by Sacramento, in a good way.  There are great areas of the city as well as suburbs.  You should also consider the Land Park neighborhood if you like the East Sac neighborhood.  If you'd like to discuss (the good and the bad) about the area, you can email me at pamela [at]

    Don't worry about starting over.  I've found that it's a really friendly area.

    I think it is relatively easy to make friends with the kids are as young as yours. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet people at school and at activities. Change is always hard, but it seems that the job in Folsom could work out well for you and your family. 

    Sacramento is a great place. There are attractive neighborhoods, the airport is great, the downtown thriving and as you've noticed the cost of living is more palatable. I personally find the summers too hot, but that is just me. There are lots of opportunities for outdoor activities and you will meet people from all over. I haven't lived in Sacramento but based on my experiences there I think it is friendlier, less competitive and more relaxed than the Bay Area. Moving is never easy but it seems like you have all the right reasons. Good luck!

    Regarding making a new life/new community - I would say your timing is actually perfect!  You have a child that will be starting kindergarten in just a few very short years, and if you choose to move to a location with neighborhood elementary schools that you plan to attend, that will be a great way to meet neighbors and make new friends!  I'm sure that school quality was already on your radar, but given your concerns, I'd recommend you also consider whether other kids from the neighborhood will go the same school, and whether you're likely to make friends with the other parents (for example, will there be lots of other families with two working parents?  Or predominantly stay-at-home moms that will exclude you?). You're more likely to make friends in schools with heavy parental involvement or with lots of community social events on the calendar.  Good luck on your adventure! 

    Pre kids, my husband and I relocated to Davis for 2 years while he finished grad school. I'm a Bay Area native and thought I'd hate it - but we were very happy. I agree with the poster who said moving is MUCH easier with young kids ... ours are now in MS and even moving through the tunnel would be incredibly disruptive to their friendships and our lives. Move now. It's definitely better timing. Sac and Davis are HOT in the summer and colder than you'd expect in the winter. But they have some lovely neighborhoods and IMO it's a good (and much more affordable) life. There are tons more restaurants and fun things to do now than when we lived there - we stop there all the time on travels around CA. I don't think you should worry, especially since you have work lined up. I will also say, not only housing is cheaper - your whole life is cheaper there. It makes a massive difference.

    I was amused by your comment about how hard it is to make friends in your late 30s - it's really not ... We moved cross country twice at your age and older, and with kids especially, it's easy. Just know that you'll be hosting the first few dinners and gatherings. Get a dog, you'll meet everyone :-) I have had to start all over with new friends 3x in my adult life, twice older than you, and we have made FANTASTIC lifelong friends each time. Go for it.

    FWIW, I did the opposite and lived in Sac/Davis before moving to the East Bay. You are right, Sac is a far cry from The Bay when you look at all of the amazing nature, activities, restaurants, art, etc available in the Bay. Sac is also incredibly, incredibly hot in the summer. However, the cost of living is really pretty great in Sac, and it's come a long way in terms of restaurants and nightlife. Though I never lived in the regions along the river, I hear there is a bit more natural a/c that makes the summer a little nicer!

    i did this move 20 years ago so I know my help is outdated. But I too moved from a cute 1 bedroom apartment on near the lake in Oakland on Perkins Ave (the cute apartment building next to the gas station) to downtown Sacramento. As I read your question I was hoping to be able to tell you how utterly charming downtown Sacramento is now, how lovely the nearby neighborhoods are for families but you mention Folsom which I don't know. 

    So instead I will just comment on the idea of leaving, and how this can hold us back in life from making change. I think everyone wishes they could live multiple lives, holding on to that old one but getting to move on to the new one. I know i have felt that almost every single time I have moved. Oakland is a lovely place BUT it has significant drawbacks. You actually are at the perfect time to move, you will make a ton of friends through your kids. You may find that some of the friendships you have now in Oakland aren't as stable as you hope as those people move, or their children end up at different schools and so on, so don't think that the lovely community you have built will continue to be as it is. The other thing is the untenable situation with a one-bedroom - what will you do when you need 2?  Will you be willing to live in a small 2 bedroom rental for the next 20 years because you can't afford a nice house, all because of friendships, some of whom have moved away?  Or the crime and crowdedness of Oakland, the crowded parking lots at the stores or the crowded grocery store aisles, the fear of walking at night or when your kids become teenagers and want to be more independent, will you feel comfortable with them going around on their own? I don't know the answers to that, I just wanted to throw out there that what will you think of Oakland 10 years from now?

    With a good job lined up, your kids at the right age, your chance to own a home, I would say your main problem is discomfort with change, even when it appears beneficial, and maybe a counselor will help with that or maybe just knowing that this is a common response, there is a mourning for the old life, there is a wish that that life could continue in a way that was sustainable but there is a lot of change in life, it's important to accept that constructively, especially when this one seems so utterly beneficial.

    Trulia is useful in seeing where the schools are in relation to homes for sale or rent - on the map section, select schools, then hover over each school, it will show you that school's boundary (this is in case you want a specific school, of course call the school district too about how they handle it).,38.722090328528,-121.22787044125,-121.06453464107_xy/#map-school-elementary-middle-high  I'd say, take a deep breath, accept change is always both a letting go of the old and an excitement for the future and take the plunge!  Honestly if I were in your situation, I would be so excited right now, I quite envy you and wish your family a lot of fun in this new life!

    I moved from the East Coast (Manhattan) in 2006 and ran an office in Sacramento for a number of years, and still have maintained an office downtown although I have clients all around California and elsewhere in the U.S. The changes in Sac have been dramatic and to my mind very much for the better, in large part because of a critical mass of artists and professionals moving in, mostly from the Bay Area. The area around Golden One Center has a true urban feel and lots of foot traffic, there are a range of places to eat late at night (which in 2007 was literally impossible), the R street area is now a real entertainment and shopping destination, and while home prices have risen a lot they are still attractive for those leaving SF and environs. There are hundreds of things to show and do and while I have in effect the best of both worlds I've become as sold on Sac as the Chamber of Commerce. In terms of places to live I like East Sac and Land Park and the 40s all of which have routes both to downtown and out quickly to walks in the suburbs and malls if that is your thing. Happy to elaborate if you have specific questions, but of all the moves in the world it is one of those that shouldn't prompt too much anxiety. 

  • Hello BPN! 

    We love the Bay Area and have lived in Berkeley and El Cerrito, but it's time to relocate for lower cost of living. We can't justify housing costs here anymore unfortunately (but love love the vibe and strong parent network/liberal-mindedness, diversity). I have read through a few dated threads about other folks considering a move to Sacramento here but wanted to re-open the conversation to see if anyone has recently moved from the Bay Area, or has lived there prior, and if so, what advice do you have about the city? We like what we've seen of Midtown for the walkability/bike-ability, but are there less expensive areas that are diverse and have good schools - ideally a Spanish dual-immersion school? We have a 1 year old now and plan to grow our family in the future, and figure now is a great time to make a move and get to know the community before the school years start up. 

    Also what kind of parent networks exist in the Sac area? Not finding much online...

    Any advice much much appreciated, and hopefully we can connect with some of you up there who have also made a move.

    I used to live in Sac before I had kids. I agree you can have a much better quality of life there with a family and without paying 1 million for a cracker box house on a small lot...LOL.  I am not sure about Spanish immersion schools, but there are a lot of Spanish speaking people, and finding a Spanish speaking nanny or daycare would not be hard.

    You might consider living in Elk Grove, or Carmichael, which are pretty family friendly I think. Roseville (if you like suburbia), though it doesn't have the same character as Midtown.  I'm not sure I'd pick Midtown for raising a family b/c there is a fair amount of petty crime, liquor stores, etc.  Folsom is nice and has an old fashioned downtown, but it's less culturally diverse I think than some other areas, and tends to be more expensive.

    I grew up in Sacramento and recently moved to Berkeley! Sacramento is an awesome city with so much to offer. I think you will really enjoy it! I recently moved from the East Sacramento area (adjacent to midtown) and loved it for its walkability and 'urban' feel. I would check out East Sacramento, midtown, Oak Park, Tahoe Park, and Elmhurst. All are close to the growing downtown Sacramento area, adjacent to the river with its awesome bike and walking trails, and close to retail, restaurants, etc. The areas mentioned above are very popular due to the growing downtown with its new arena for the Sacramento Kings as well as the bustling restaurant scene. That being said, the homes are also expensive, older and smaller than homes you will see when you continue out to the suburbs. In addition to the above, I would check out Carmichael, Arden-Arcade and even  Roseville or Folsom.

  • Any advice on moving to Sacramento from the Bay Area? We have a young child and we were wondering what areas to consider for good public schools. We would rather stay in the Bay Area but finding a home with a good school district is difficult for our price range approx 500k. We have considered charter schools and affordable private schools but they are very limited.  We are moving in hopes that housing would be more affordable. We are also looking for a Sacramento realtor. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Many years ago when my family moved to the Sacramento area from San Francisco we used Jim Phillips... He was excellent and had a lot of great advice back then for things to look for in buying our first house in Fair Oaks. We were totally unfamiliar with all of the Sacramento region.  He wasn't pushy, very honest, and actually helped us to steer clear of certain neighborhoods/or specific houses that we had seen for various problems.    He knows the whole region VERY WELL and I've recommended him to both my mom and brother when they purchased their homes. Here's his site

    We really loved living in Fair Oaks--semi-rural, large lots, quaint, safe, and great for kids with excellent schools.  There was a gorgeous trail right along the river that children can bike and lots to do with kids.  Roseville and Folsom are also very good choices--larger cities with all the amenities and excellent schools.  Sacramento also has some great, family friendly neighborhoods--Arden/Arcade is also very nice--might be much pricier.  I'm not sure about their public schools, however.  Hopefully someone else will post with more information and expertise on Sacramento specifically.  Good luck!

    I recommend Varouge Mesrobian ( He helped two of my friends buy and both of them were on a tight budget and looking at extended East Bay or Sacramento. He's very familiar with all the areas and has helped people all over - Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Benicia, Pittsburg, Oakland and all the way to Sacto. One of my friends found a great place at the Pittsburg Marina (large, cute home) and I was shocked at how reasonable it was compared to typical Bay Area prices. The other landed in Sacro and found a great home there. Both bought in the last year. Highly recommended!

    Can I persuade you to try Davis instead of Sac? I lived in both. Davis is awesome for parents and kids, plenty to do-family wise, good schools, nice greenbelts, diversity because of the University.... 

  • Hi BPN! I've seen a few conversations here about families possibly moving to Sacramento. We are almost certainly moving there, and I'm starting the process of looking for daycare and other parents to connect with. We don't yet know what neighborhood we'll be in. 

    Any resources -- Facebook groups, the "Sacramento Parents Network," anything like that -- would be really great. Also, if anyone can recommend childcare options in downtown Sacramento, that would be especially helpful! We have an 18-month-old and are hoping to find either a nanny share or a smaller in-home option, but we'd consider anything. 


    We recently moved to Sacramento and cannot seem to find ANYTHING like the BPN here. I sent you a private message with my contact information.

    I think some towns have Facebook pages that are similar (e.g., "Good Neighbors of Lincoln"), and I use NextDoor a lot for recommendations. 

One of my adult daughters moved to Sacramento and loves it.She got a nice apartment in a good area for under $1200 a month,something she could never do here.A lot of young families are moving there and I was surprised by how many good restaurants are there as well as fun things to do.The best part is that she can drive here or take Amtrack without too much trouble.


I could have written this post verbatim! My husband and I are moving to Sacramento from Berkeley for precisely the reasons you listed. Yes, there are a lot of great things about living here -- diversity, restaurants, cultural offerings, etc. -- but contrary to popular belief, the Bay Area does not have a monopoly on those things. I lived in Sacramento for a few years before moving to the Bay, and I have missed it ever since. It's safe, has great weather (ok, it gets quite hot in July/August but I can live with that), the schools are good, there are tons of biking/hiking trails, and the restaurant scene is great and only getting better. It also has some of the best coffee I've had in my life :-) Most importantly, the people are not nearly as pretentious as those in the Bay Area. As a Chicago native & Cal alum who has lived on both coasts (and many places in between), I can say that the people in Sacramento are among the most down-to-earth that I have met. I also have friends who live in Davis and absolutely love it for many of the same reasons. I highly recommend checking out the Sacramento/Davis area!


The Sacramento area is much more affordable than here and there are plenty of non-suburb areas.  I lived up there for a while during my college and post college years and still have many connections.  Davis is lovely and extremely family friendly.  Midtown Sacramento and other areas close to the city center are lively and walkable, but also peaceful.  We are big fans of the area.

We moved out of the inner East Bay due to housing prices.  We would have considered Sacramento if it weren't for our jobs and all close family here.  We moved out to Hercules (past Richmond).  It is a suburb, but we live near plenty of walkable things (cafe, restaurants, the bay).  It is much cheaper out here as well and we have been really happy and met other young families.  We were sad to move out of  Berkeley but it has been a fantastic choice.


Archived Q&A and Reviews


Help me fall in love with Sacramento?

April 2016

We are considering a move to Sacramento for several quality of life reasons (grandparents, cost of housing prices). I have been in the Bay Area for 20 years and am nervous to leave because I love the many things that make the Bay Area special. We are looking for recommendations for things to get us started such as great realtor specifically for East Sac, a Reggio Emilio and/or nature based preschool, a renewal or very liberal reform synagogue or other Jewish community resources, private elementary school like Park Day, queer parenting resources. Also, if there are things you love about Sacramento (snarky, lefty, foodie, queer, cultural) can you share those for some inspiration? For context, things I'll miss about east bay include the Parkway, the Bowl and Monterrey Market, La Pena, Freight and Salvage, Bites off Broadway, The Little Farm, Market Hall, Lake Merritt walks, Chochmat Ha Lev, Albany Bulb, The Cheese Board etc.

I rarely have time to respond to questions but I had to make time for this one! I grew up near Sacramento and honestly didn't think much of it at the time, I was anxious to get away and live in a 'big city.'

Then my husband and I found ourselves forced to move to Sacramento for his law school. I was blown away by how much better it was than I'd expected. We moved to the Bay Area after as was our long-term dream, but I really miss Sacramento. I did not have children at the time, but we still go back often because I have lots of family in the area. Honestly, I wish we could move back. It is a city so there's lots of resources and things to do, but the pace is slower there, which I really miss.

We lived in the downtown/midtown area, which is beautiful. There are so many trees, and it was very walkable and bikeable. They have monthly 'Second Saturdays' art gallery openings, similar to Oakland's First Fridays. We loved Rubicon Brewery, Tower Café, and Temple coffee.

Going back to visit now that we have a kiddo, there's Fairyland and the train museum. In nearby Davis there's an incredible Farmer's Market and all kinds of hippie stuff, like the annual Whole Earth Festival on Mother's Day Weekend. I understand that there's lots that you'll miss around here, but I hope you fall in love with Sacramento because there's lots of great stuff there too. Good luck! Love Sacramento

I'm not sure you can, but let me try. It's much hotter in the summer and much colder in the winter. Traffic is just as bad.

You are closer to Tahoe, the delta and the gold country. There is some night life but not like SF or East Bay. If you like the ocean it's now a half day trip or more.

It's a much smaller city and there’s a more rural early California feel to it. Like the East Bay and SF there is a really bad drug problem. We have family who live there and when we visit we play the game 'Spot the Tweaker'.

I’ve worked there and thought about living there but the summers are just too darn hot. The other thing one might like about (I don’t) is Sacramento is it’s full of chain stores. ANON

Hi! I can put your mind at ease. We moved to the Sacramento area last summer (Folsom, about 20 min N of Sacramento) and have not looked back. Do I miss the food in Berkeley? Yes. Do I miss my friends? Yes. Do I miss the crazy, insane housing situation? NO!!! Can I actually afford to buy a nice house to raise my family in that is close to good public schools, fantastic biking/running trails, river rafting and kayaking? YES!!! Are logistics easier? YES! Would I move up here again? YES! And by the way, I adore the climate. Yes, it is hot in the summer, but you can sit out at night and it actually feels like summer. There is a fantastic food co-op in Sacramento and there are definitely liberal Jews like me. Hey, there's a Pesach section in Whole Foods right now. Feel free to reach out. No regrets here. Just hoping the food situation will improve in time. I'm going swimming outside this weekend! wenmazb [at] new to Folsom

It has been more than a decade since I couch-surfed in Sacramento, but these are the things that I like about that area:

The historic sites by the West Sacramento river crossing; the railroad museum, 'Old Sacramento' with touristy, but fun, shops and eateries. The River Otter Water Taxi, in which you can go on the river. One pilot allows passengers to take the helm headed dowstream if it is their birthday.

The Capitol building and its lawn, with samples of every tree and shrub that grow in the state. Opportunities to be a civic gadfly, making appointments with legislators' staff to argue the case for a worthy cause. Bay area residents must travel to Sacramento to do this. You could be helpful, if this is the sort of thing you enjoy.

The old farm town of Fair Oaks, until recently one of the most Republican districts in the state, has a pioneer cemetery, an annual Renaissance Faire, and feral chickens wandering all over town, jusr like in Hawaii.

Sacramento is a rail hub, allowing for a relaxing and scenic two hour trip back to the East Bay. I find that it is just enough time to get some computer work done. And the terminus can be Jack London Square or San Jose. You can also take the California Zephyr over the mountains to Reno in a couple of hours.

Sacramento is close to UC Davis, with its music, museums, and equestrian program. There is also Sacramento State, American River JC, etc.

Most neighborhoods are flat, which encourages bicycling. Most neighborhoods are uncrowded. There is good heath care available.

Hope this perspective is helpful. Amelia Sue

I moved to the East Bay from Sacramento 12 years ago, when my kids were 7 and almost 5. I had my reasons, but -- Sacramento is a great place to raise kids.

Thoughts re your specific questions/things you love about the Bay Area -- where I know something about it (recognizing: may be a bit out of date).

Preschool: Might or might not meet your criteria, but Hand in Hand preschool was an amazing place for my kids, loving and well run. We still live by 'Safe Clean and Kind.'

School: There's more than one Waldorf option, if you're interested in that; my older child went to Courtyard (a local private school) and it was a good fit -- in some ways comparable to Park Day. (My kids didn't go to Park Day but we know a lot of Park Day families.) Depending on where you live, some of the public schools are quite good.

Synagogue: B'nai Israel is the big, and by my standards welcoming, reform temple. Just about every Jewish family I knew in Sacramento went there.

There are a lot of kid friendly outdoor concerts in Sacramento all through the spring and summer -- used to be every Friday night at Cesar Chavez Park, and then another series that was once a month or so on Saturday evening in a different park every month -- the kids could run and play and dance, there was food and beer available, getting outside just as the heat of the day was turning into pleasant warmth of the evening -- it was pretty magical sometimes, better than Bites off Broadway any day.

Lovely farmers markets -- used to be one in Cesar Chavez Park sometime midweek, and another on Sunday under the freeway (forever known in my family as the one where I lost my daughter when she was three -- only to have her almost immediately find one of her preschool teachers who helped her find me -- one nice thing about Sacramento is that it still can feel like a small town). Even ten years ago we had some favorite restaurants, mostly not high end, that were quite good, and I think the restaurant scene has improved since then.

It's not Berkeley Bowl, but the local Nugget grocery chain is very good and carries a lot of organic produce. I didn't usually go to the Davis location, but it's pretty amazing -- I called it The Temple of Food for the cornucopia frieze outside and the selection inside.

The local parks are fantastic for kids. McKinley Park playground is awesome, we had Saturday morning library and playground morning on a regular basis. Out in River Park there's another nice playground, a public pool (kids start swim lessons very young) and a river beach that's like Albany Bulb, kinda -- there's sandy areas by the river but also lots of willows and other trees and paths to walk and explore nature: Paradise Beach.

Down in Land Park: Fairytale Town (where we saw some amazing kids' theater a couple of times), Funderland, the zoo.

Hope that's helpful. It was a lovely place to live, in lots of ways. I hope, if you go, that you do indeed come to love it. Kathy

Crocker Art Museum has a stellar art collection. Some of the collection is housed in a beautiful Victorian mansion that was originally built by the Crocker family as their home -- the building itself is amazing and historically interesting. More art is housed in an expansion. There are many great Crocker kid and family programs, including art camps, and it is open late Thursday evenings. Go to for more info. Crocker Art Museum Fan

Moving to Sacramento area with kids 3 and 7

Nov 2014

Hello- My husband is interviewing for jobs in Sacramento, and as sad as we are to leave Berkeley, we are looking forward to better real estate options. I think the town of Sacramento has quite a bit to offer but I'm noticing the public schools aren't so great. Does anyone have any experience or opinions they can share about schools in Sacramento? We are also considering Roseville because the public schools are highly rated there, but I'm worried that it might be too conservative. Seems like a cute small town. Can anyone update me on Roseville? Our kids are 3 and 7. Thanks!!! heading northeast

Honestly, I would look in Davis first. Davis has great schools and is a lot like Berkeley and the commute over the causeway to Sacramento is not that bad. Sacramento area is either a commute on the I-80 corridor or US 50 corridor. Both have some good cities/schools. The schools in Sacramento are not very good, but Fair Oaks is next to Sac (San Juan Unified?) and Bella Vista High School had a great rep when I lived up there in 1994-2000, but I am not sure about the elem/middle schools and Orangevale, the town next door, is very conservative.

I-80 side, as you go up I-80 it gets more conservative, but Rocklin has good schools and is probably more modern thinking than Roseville. Up on US 50 commute, Folsom/Gold River has good schools and it is the less conservative side. And there are some new and up and coming neighborhoods above Folsom, but again the commute is farther from Sacramento.

Elk Grove is another area to look. It is just South of Sac and I think it is on the light rail line.

Hope that helps. Former Citrus Heights dweller

I'm sorry I can't speak to the current public school situation, but I don't think you'd get a small town feel in Roseville. It's very suburban. An alternative would be the Fair Oaks village area, with is very cute, has nice older houses, and a real small town center (although Fair Oaks is connected through suburbs to all the rest of the area). It's known for its wild chickens which wander around town (pretend you're on Kauai) and it's near the river. I believe it's in the San Juan USD. I would love to live in the Land Park area near downtown Sacramento, although that's in the Sacramento school district. Folsom has an old timey downtown and is near nice trails on the river, but also is mostly very suburban, housing developments, etc. I've been told the schools are good, though. I envy you the housing prices, but be prepared for the hot hot summers and the more conservative outlook of many of the communities.

Sacramento neighborhoods and schools?

Nov 2013

Due to an upcoming job change, our family of four is considering a move from the Bay Area to the Sacramento area. While we have done a little research on climate, crime and cost of living, I would love to get firsthand recommendations for good neighborhoods and school districts for families with young kids. We are open to exploring both the city and surrounding areas like Davis and Roseville. Any perspective you can share would be much appreciated! Thanks. Thinking about a Move

My parents grew up in Clarksburg which is 10 miles south of Sacramento on the Sacramento River. It's a really small town, but it has a charter school, Delta Elementary Charter School (formerly Clarksburg Elementary) that attracts kids locally and from West Sacramento. My cousin's daughter goes there and my uncle was involved in opening the charter school (he was principal of Clarksburg Elementary for many years). Anyway, Clarksburg is dinky, but it's a nice community. If the idea of a small town is appealing, you should look into it. Carrie

Hi there, We have been in the Rocklin area for the past 6 years, and have really enjoyed it. It is a safe community and has tons of activities for families with small children. The elementary schools here are great. While I can't speak to all of them, my children currently attend Breen, and we have been very happy there. I know families with children at Sierra, Valley View and Rock Creek and they are all very pleased with their elementary experiences as well. One thing I would say, is that be prepared for the extreme heat here in the summertime. Many homes up here have a pool, and if you can find one, I would definitely recommend it. Most kids live in the water during the summer months here. We are moving down to the Bay Area within the next few months, and we will certainly miss our community up here. Good luck with your move! Happy in Rocklin

Moving to Sacramento with Kids

April 2012

i've a few friends who've moved to Sac or have lived there & some really like it. one in particular misses living in Sac even though she is here in the EB. This really surprised me. One friend in particular keeps telling me how great Sac is. Anyway here is situation: we bought a house & were planning to be in for about 5 years. we've one little girl who is about 2 and are expecting another kid at the end of the year. our home has no outdoor space and the near by parks are terrible, all outings require driving. Plus the local school is not great. Point is we have to move...but where? my husband works from home most of the time or travels to meetings, where i'm a SAHM. my question is anyone live in Sac with kids have any info on what it is like there for the kids. Activities, parks, SAHMs, schools. How liberal is it? are there better neighborhoods then others for walkability and liberalness? Overall culture out there. Anything else that maybe helpful. thanks so much overwhelmed

Moved to the EB from Sacramento before we had children and even though I miss Sacramento I would not move back there. My husband and I have discussed moving back however after speaking with friends who live there we found that their school situation is just as bad as it is here! My best friend lives in Davis and her experience has been great. The public schools are awesome (there are several schools which are Spanish Immersion and perform very very well). Davis is very liberal, walkable, and friendly. It close enough to Sacramento, Tahoe and San Francisco! If my husbands job was not in San Francisco, I would move to Davis! Pulling for Davis

Have you ever consider Benicia??? I grew up in Sacramento actaully Elk Grove before all those houses were built. Antioch reminds me of Elk Grove now. I am sure things have changes since I left permanently in 1996 but Sacramento has so many suburbs so there maybe a neighborhood that is similar to Berkeley? I love the East Bay especially Berkeley. We actaully have a daughter who goes to a school in North Berkeley so I drive down everyday. Benicia is a very sleepy town with a little bid of Santa Cruz feel to it. If I need Berkeley or SF fix, we just drive down and can be on the Bay Bridge in 20mins with no traffic. We are also less than 20mins away from Napa. You may want to check it out. If you have any question, you can email me as well. Happy in Benicia

Moving to Sacramento for a year

Jan 2011

We're planning to move to Sacramento for one year (July 2011/12) while my husband is in a fellowship at UC Davis Medical Center. We've explored some of the neighborhoods and like East Sac, Curtis Park, and parts of the neighborhood near the hospital. Our daughter will be two years old. I would love hear if BPN members have any experience there and might make suggestions regarding the following (or anything else): neighborhoods to live in, housing sources (besidesCraigslist - house exchange/sitting), preschools/daycare, playgroups, activities for toddlers, great playgrounds
Thank you! Portia

There are amazing parks EVERYWHERE in Sacramento. Seriously, when I visit my folks I am always blown away by the huge parks at every turn. Parks that here would have tons of kids all over it are relatively uncrowded because there are just so many. Just for example, william land park is double the size of frog park and also has a pond with geese to feed. But seriously, wherever you are there will be a neighborhood park within walking distance that is pretty cool. Good luck with your move! Meredith

Hello, I grew up in Sacramento and my parents still live there. As someone else posted, there are lots of parks, but as a visitor with small children now, I actually found that a hinderance. So many people have big backyards and swimming pools, that parks aren't the central neighborhood meeting places that they are in Berkeley. I grew up in a suburban part (and had to drive everywhere), but some friends who moved back live in the 40's and near UCD Medical Center which has walkable neighborhoods. One fantastic kid place I discovered- Art Beast ( which is downtown. On the other end of town, Sunflower Restaurant ( is a funky, veggie food shop. You can eat in the park next door and let the kids run around. ALso for good salads, there is a Pluto's both in Davis and in Arden Fair Mall (near the movie theater). HOpe you enjoy Sacramento! Born and raised in Sac

What's it like to live in Sacramento?

June 2010

My husband and I are finally realizing that in order to give our son everything we want to, and to live in a house larger than two bedrooms but not have to commute 1.5 hours each way, we are going to have to leave the Bay Area. We love it here - love the people, the food, the weather, all the great things for kids. But we just can't afford it.

In looking around, we have started talking about the Sacramento area. It seems to have some jobs in both of our fields, the cost of living is obviously much more manageable, and it would let us stay close to all of our friends and family here. Does anyone have any thoughts on what it is like to live up there? Are there good activities for kids? Is it unbearably conservative (or hot)? (We moved here from the South to avoid both of those issues). Is there anywhere decent to eat or is Applebee's fine dining? Any other areas we should check out? Thanks for any input and advice! Broke Mom

I grew up in Sacramento and it's not at all bad. Great for families -- tons of activities. The summers are hot, but that can be nice, especially the warm evenings. There's tremendous diversity, and not too conservative, especially in the areas closer to midtown. Great neighborhoods are land park, Curtis park, midtown. I live in Berkeley now and love it, but I appreciate having grown up in Sacramento! With 2 kids now, I miss being able to gonfor bike rides in flat terrain. We enjoy visiting grandparents there now, and going swimming and biking in the summer. Go for it! Jen

just about all my in-laws live in the sac valley area, so we have to visit several times a year. yes, it's more conservative and not as racially diverse - my half-white niece was rejected by the local girl scout troop. it was pretty obvious that race was the issue if you just looked. but the family is not getting lynched, and my niece is thriving in her school.

it's very suburban, but more shocking factor might be the weather which can get extremely hot in the summer. and while the area is not known for its cuisines, there are plenty of good restaurants of various ethnic cuisines. depending on the neighborhood, it is very, very kid-friendly - i think folsom even has a really good high school, thanks to intel's presence. carmichael is right next to sacto which has more stuff, so that's another option.

it's a sprawling suburb, and i personally wouldn't live there if it weren't for financial reasons. despite seeing too many mccain/palin posters along the freeway as i drove further east, there are many worse, more conservative places in this country. besides, i'm sure you'll be able to find like-minded people there - fewer than half of my in-laws are conservatives. - sacto visitor

I grew up in Sacramento and visit often because my parents and sister live there. I think it's a great place to grow up, for all the reason people move to suburbs: cheaper, easier, bigger house, big yard. I think Sacramento proper is extremely diverse (I think it was listed somewhere as most diverse city); outlying suburbs like Folsom, El Dorado Hills, etc are not diverse, but extremely kid friendly. My sister lives in El Dorado Hills and my son loves visiting because they have a gigantic yard and pool and long driveway that he can ride his scooter down. There are tons of little playgrounds and parks nearby too. My parents live in South Sacramento, not far from downtown. I love Midtown and have often considered moving there. It's very walkable, lots of great Victorian and Craftsman houses, good coffee places, clothing boutiques, decent & diverse restaurants. Close by (and nicer, with gorgeous houses) are Land Park and East Sacramento, specifically the 'Fabulous 40's.' I like Sacramento's hot weather, too. Old Sacramento also has a train museum that my son LOVES. I think it's a good choice; you can also check out Davis. Good luck! Former Sacramentan


Just wanted to point out some of the great things about Sacramento. I noticed one commenter had pretty negative things to say.

I love Sacramento. I lived there for many years and my extended family is there now. We are a very multi-racial family with asian, black and a few others thrown into the mix and have never had any problems in Sac. Oddly enough the only racism my family has experienced had been in SF.

My husband (Chinese) grew up with this image of Sac as a 'staunchly conservative town full of hicks' but he has since realized how wrong that is. And yes, we actually met and fell in love there. :)

I would move back in a second but my Oakland-raised hubby can't deal with heat above 80 degrees. :) So, if you do move consider air conditioning a must have.

Good luck! Sactown ;)

Neighborhoods in Sacramento for a job downtown

April 2010

My husband's dream job has been offered to him - in downtown Sacto (govt job.) Davis feels like a better value fit for us, but I'm wondering about neighborhoods in Sacramento that we should consider? kinda sad to leave Bay Area

You absolutely must check out East Sacramento. I grew up in East Sac (in the 'fabulous '40's'), and it is everything I could have ever wanted in a neighborhood. It's so beautiful - all houses built in the 1930's with big trees. I so wish I could move back. Have fun house shopping! Sarah

I lived in Sacto in the '90s (also govt job). I was single then, but I really liked it. Real seasons, slower pace of life, can bike everywhere, and I made very good liberal- minded friends. Sacto has gotten even better since then, good restaurants, more nightlife, art and theatre. I go back regularly to see my friends. If I got a job there now, I would probably choose Sacto over Davis. I don't know about the school districts, but for neighborhoods I'd choose Curtis Park, then maybe Land Park. These are close to downtown and public transit. Davis has great schools, but it is very homogeneous. Maybe I'm just a city gal. Sacto Fan

If what you will miss about the Bay Area is the old-fashioned housing stock, mature trees and walking to coffee (and possibly work), then the City of Sacramento neighborhoods of East Sacramento, Land Park and Curtis Park should be your list. If you are used to the crime and grunge of Oakland, then you can also include Oak Park and Tahoe Park. Lovers of the Bay Area lifestyle should probably not bother with West Sac or Natomas (although, if you always wanted a brand-new house, those are the places. However, Natomas is not as close to downtown as people lead you to believe).

Davis has predominantly 1970's-80's ranch style houses, as well as awesome parents, children, schools, and recreation. And those are the center of most folk's universe. It has a bit of an isolated island feel - but many people love the island and commute to downtown Sac. If you are renting, know that Davis houses tend to come up in cycles to coincide with the school year (either June or August starts), but the listings can come up several months prior.

Good luck - it's very much a personal choice. Bay Area Bungalope

Moving to Sacramento this summer with 3 kids

May 2009

Hi, we are moving this summer to Sacramento, and I was wondering if there is something like parents list there? Also, what are fun things to do with kids; baby,5,7 yrs old? What do you love about Sac. What do you hate, other than the heat? Any advice for transition..This is the first big move with kids. Thanks miss U all! liza

I grew up in West Sacramento. Besides the heat, and dreary winter fog, Sacramento's no worse than most urban areas. The Capitol and surrounding park are great. The older part of Sacramento has lots of trees (shade is very welcome in summer!), small restaurants, shops. Old Town, by the river, is a great tourist trap. The zoo, and William Land Park, both near the river on the south side of town, are or were good kid places. You're closer to Yosemite and Tahoe than in the Bay Area. And it's not the cultural wasteland that I imagined it to be in the 60's! Nils

My kids were both born in Sac'to -- I moved to the East Bay with them when they were ages 7 and 5. Happy as I am to be here, Sacramento is a great town for families with kids. Fun things: lots of great playgrounds, try the one in McKinley Park (which is also right by a public library with a great kids section); in Land Park there's the zoo, Fairytale Town (kind of like Fairyland in Oakland), and something called ''Funderland'' which is a teeny amusement park with nothing but kiddy rides. Lots of public pools; my kids took swim lessons through the parks department.

In the summer, there are lots of family-friendly free outdoor music events in parks around the city. These were very idyllic for me -- I could sit and listen with food and drink and my kids would run around with other kids; sometimes we would dance together.

Where I lived, in the River Park neighborhood (out by Sac State) the kids could go out and play with other kids on the block, in and out of everyone's backyards. Of course, there's also the usual array of organized kid activities: we did soccer, gymnastics, and ballet (at various times). Oh, and we used to go to the state fair every year.

Don't know of a list like this one, but there may be one by now. The preschool my kids attended (Hand in Hand -- it's fantastic, ages 2-5) was a great resource for meeting other parents and just generally getting help with parenting stuff.

Parents network in Sacramento?

Oct 2005

I've just recently moved to Sacramento from the Bay. I am single mom of a 9 year old boy and have found BPN invaluable!!! Does anyone know of anything similar in Sacramento? Letitia

I grew up in Sacramento, and still visit often. I just discovered the Mothers Support Network. I don't know if they have an email list, but they do have a newsletter, used clothing store, music classes, playgroups, workshops, etc. Most of the stuff appears to be for younger kids (as mine are), but I bet they would know about stuff for parents and older kids. The website is Anita

Moving to Sacramento - natural asbestos in the area?

July 2005

My partner and I are transferring to Sacramento for work and are looking at outlying areas to move. I've come across various articles about NOA (Naturally Occurring Asbestos) that has recently come to light in the Folsom/El Dorado Hills areas. From my research thus far, the asbestos is natural to the area and lies deep in the serpentine rock that makes up the foothills. The rock itself isn't dangerous just the dust when it is broken up during construction or used as gravel. The EPA is raising red flags but can't give any comparison data or prognosis. The locals and real estate professionals (of course) don't seem to think it is an issue and can be easily mitigated by dust management. Does anyone have any feedback about NOA? Or input from friends/family in the area? Thank you. Anon

I googled the topic and came up with some websites:
which tend to indicate it's a known problem, but that the verdict is out on how agencies and localities are going to deal with it. It sounds like you may want to be picky about where you settle, at the very least. Here is a map: Nils

Hi- I am from Folsom, down the road so to speak from the area most in the ''hot zone'' for NOA. And I must say I would think twice about living up in El Dorado Hills at this point. Check the ''Sacramento Bee'' and their archives and you'll see study after study suggesting that even a day at the park or running the bases at a softball game will increase your chances of cancer. Personally, I have enough going on in my world now that I don't want to worry if going for a walk in the park is going to increase my risk. Sure there are things people do everyday that increase our risks of getting this or that, but why take the chance if you don't have to?

Check out this recent article highlighting UC Davis research:

And also the press release from UCD Med Center: Good luck left the foothills

Sacramento communities with trees and good schools

January 2003

Hello - We are considering relocating to Sacramento/El Dorado Hills area, however, we know nothing about the area. We would like to buy a house in a ''nice'' area with excellent schools and lots of trees and outdoor activities. Can anybody recommend cities or communities around Sacramento that might fit the bill? Where are the good places to live up there? Any other information on the area would also be appreciated. We have two kids under the age of two. thanks!

I lived and worked in the Sac area for many years. I love Sac and would move back in a minute if I could.

Here are my four suggestions:

1. Arden Park Area - My sister and her family live there. It is bounded by Arden Way, Watt, Fair Oaks, and Eastern Ave. The public school there is very highly rated (MarieMont). There are also excellent private schools nearby.

2. If you like a more urban environment try mid-town sac. It's the area surrounding 21st and L street.

3. Another great area is the ''Fab 40's.'' This is around L and the 40th to 50th area. Old cute houses and some old, big, beautiful houses.

4. I would not recommend El Dorado Hills even tho the houses are new and big, you are basically out in the middle of nowhere. Driving into Sac in the morning from that area can easily take an hour or more, because the traffic is horrible. Also, in the midtown and fab 40's you are close to UC Davis Med Center, which is a wonderful resource. Hope this helps. Julie

I've heard many good things about Elk Grove. Tunisha

I've known and currently know several people who have or still live in the Sacramento area. In their and my humble opinions, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and Granite Bay are all nice. They're all to the East of Sacramento, Auburn is even getting into the foothills. My in-laws used to and a best friend's in- laws currently live in Roseville and all agree it is one of the better cities in the Sacramento area to live in. There even happens to be some great new shopping opening up in Eastern Roseville, near Rocklin. And when we were out there last, it looked like there were some new homes being built in the area.

We've also considered moving to the Sacramento area, so I've done a bit of research into where we'd like to live if we did.

The City of Roseville website is at

And Yahoo's Sacramento Metro info is at:

I find a lot of good info from Yahoo Locals.

Hope this helps! Jen